Five Places to Find Platinum Thermocouples and Other Precious Metal Scrap for Free

Five Places to Find Platinum Thermocouples and Other Precious Metal Scrap for Free

We have often written on this blog about places where you can acquire precious metal scrap for pennies on the dollar. Today we would like to offer advice on a higher level, by telling you about some places where you can get precious metal scrap for free.

Read More

The Art and Science of Valuing Your Platinum Thermocouple Scrap

The Art and Science of Valuing Your Platinum Thermocouple Scrap

“Why Thermocouples Could Be the Smartest Precious Metal Investments Today,” a post on this blog on July 19th, 2019, explained why investing in scrapped thermocouples is a very smart move for precious metal investors today.

In today’s post we would like to examine in more depth a question that we only touched on in that earlier post. Let’s explore it some more!

Read More

Platinum Is Cool, Platinum is Hot . . . and Here Are the Reasons Why

Platinum Is Cool, Platinum is Hot . . . and Here Are the Reasons Why

We have written on this blog in the past about stoves, furnaces, space heaters and other “hot” places you can find platinum thermocouple wire that we can recycle for you in our precious metal refinery.

But what about cold places? Don’t air conditioners contain thermocouple wire that we can process for you? Yes, they do. But before we delve into that subject, let’s consider the fundamental difference between devices that generate heat and devices that cool things off . . .

Read More

Get Wired! How to Unravel Big Dollars from Wires Made of Gold, Platinum and other Precious Metals

Get Wired! How to Unravel Big Dollars from Wires Made of Gold, Platinum and other Precious Metals

If you’re emptying an old factory that produced products that contained metals, chances are good that you will discover wire that contains precious metals.  You might find coils of it in storage areas. You might find little rolls of it hiding in drawers. Unless the previous owners labeled their supplies carefully or the wire is still in its original packaging, you have very little way of knowing what kind of wire you have.

Read More

High Heat Equals High Value

If you’ve read this blog before, you know that we have written posts about thermocouples – those fascinating devices, made up of two different metals that are used to monitor temperatures remotely. We have also written about the probes, attached to the ends of thermocouple wires, which are used to monitor temperatures in medical testing and manufacturing processes.

Those devices often contain precious metals. But today we would like to tell you about some items that are just a bit different…

Thermocouples and probes that are used to monitor extremely high temperatures

Photo of a power plant, where you can find a wealth of platinum thermocouples that can be refined and recycled by Specialty Metals.

We are not talking about the more common thermocouple set-ups that are used to monitor temperatures in water heaters, kitchen stoves, air conditioners, or pasteurizing operations. We are talking about specialized thermocouples from nuclear power plants, non-nuclear-power plants, jet engines, gas turbines, and other places where there is a need to monitor sustained levels of extremely high temperatures.

Certain precious metals and platinum alloys are used in places like those because they will not oxidize, even at extremely high temperatures. Where lesser metals would fizzle out, they keep on monitoring.

What Metals Can You Find in High-Temperature Thermocouples and Probes?

Let’s take a look at what these high-temp thermocouples can contain.

  • Molybdenum – This is one tough metal. It holds up in temperatures up to 4000°F.
  • Platinum-Rhodium Alloys – Used in applications up to about 3000°F.
  • Tantalum – Used in applications up to about 4000°F.
  • Platinum-Molybdenum Alloys – Used in application up to about 3000°F.

How Can You Determine the Value of High-Temperature Thermocouples and Probes?

If you have scrap from high-temperature applications, don’t hesitate to find out how much it can be worth. If you call us at 800-426-2344, one of our expert consultants can explain how simple it is to send in a sample of your scrap for testing.

Related Posts:

Where Can You Find Thermocouples? A Quick Checklist for You
Easy-to-Miss Places where Platinum-Plated Metals Can Be Found
What Happens when Platinum Meets Rhodium?
Smarter Recycling: Don’t Overlook the High Value of Noble Metal Thermocouples

Where Can You Find Thermocouples? A Quick Checklist for You

We’ve written about thermocouples before on this blog, and today we are going to provide you with a checklist of where to find them. But before we do, let’s get a quick overview of what they are . . .

Shown: platinum thermocouple wire scrap, a very profitable type of scrap Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners can recycle for your company.

Shown: platinum thermocouple wire scrap, a very profitable type of scrap Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners can recycle for your company.

Thermocouples, like batteries, are devices that are made up of two or more metals that generate voltage. When they are subjected to temperature changes (or radiation changes in some cases), changes occur in the amount of voltage that they generate. In fact, when one end of a long wire thermocouple is heated, that voltage increase can be measured at the other end.

So the result is that thermocouples can be used to remotely measure changes in temperature. If you’re supervising a production line, for example, thermocouples can help you monitor temperature changes from the safety of a control room that is located at some distance from the line itself. Thermocouples can also be used to ensure the safety of manufacturing operations. If the temperature in a piece of equipment rises above safe levels, for example, a device equipped with a thermocouple can automatically shut it down.

What Precious Metals Do Thermocouples Contain?

Depending on the application, they can contain a number of different precious and non-precious metals. They can be made of: pure platinum, platinum/rhodium alloys, Palladium/Platinum/Gold alloy, nickel alloys, tungsten alloys; and even a combination of 2 pure noble metals like Gold and Platinum or Platinum and Palladium.

Where Are Thermocouples Found?

  • Airplane gauges and controls
  • Air conditioning systems
  • Chemical manufacturing plants
  • Equipment used in the manufacturing of steel and other metals
  • Furnaces
  • Gas turbines
  • Ignition systems used in manufacturing
  • Industrial safety systems
  • Industrial sensors of many kinds
  • Industrial valves and actuators
  • Kerosene lamps and space heaters
  • Kilns
  • Medical testing and monitoring equipment
  • Munitions
  • Ovens
  • Power plants, including nuclear power plants where thermocouples can be used to measure radiation
  • Robotic and other welding equipment
  • Safety cutoff values and switches
  • Steam systems
  • Thermometers
  • Water heaters

Ready, Aim, Recycle

If you check those locations and find that you have a quantity of thermocouple wires and/or devices, we can help you quickly understand their worth and recycle them for top dollar. Call us at 800-426-2344 to learn more.

Related Posts:

Why Used Thermocouple Wire Is a Top Candidate for Profitable Recycling
How to Claim the Cash that’s Hidden in Used Equipment Containing Thermocouple Wire
Interested in Thermocouples and Thermocouple Wire
Smarter Recycling: Don’t Overlook the High Value of Noble Metal Thermocouples

Smarter Recycling: Don’t Overlook the High Value of Noble Metal Thermocouples

If you own used industrial equipment that was used in high-temperature settings, it is almost certain that you are in possession of a quantity of used noble metal thermocouples. What are they, and how much are they worth?

Photo showing the kind of gas appliance that uses a thermocouple wire that contains valuable precious metals that can be recycled and refined.

Here’s what you need to know.

First, What Is a Thermocouple?

Let’s start with the basics. Here’s the explanation that we recently ran in a post on this blog Interested in Thermocouples and Thermocouple Wire? Why Not Read Up Online?:

“A thermocouple is made from two wires that are made from different kinds of metals. They are connected at one end – the `junction.’ When that connection is made, voltage is generated; that voltage can be measured by equipment that is located at the other ends of the two wires. And here’s where things get interesting, because when temperatures change at the junction, the amount of voltage that’s generated changes too.”

What Are Noble Metal Thermocouples and Do They Contain Platinum?

Noble metal thermocouples are so called because they contain quantities of platinum and rhodium. They are usually classified by their manufacturers as Type B, R, or S thermocouples. They are used to measure or monitor temperatures in a high range between about 1800ᵒ Fahrenheit (982ᵒ Centigrade) through about 4200ᵒ Fahrenheit (2300ᵒ Centigrade). 

Base metal thermocouples are more common, and less valuable. They typically contain nickel alloys. They are classified by their manufacturers as Type E, J, K, N or T thermocouples. You are most likely to find them in equipment that is used to measure or monitor temperatures below about 1800ᵒ Fahrenheit (982ᵒ Centigrade).

How Can You Tell What Kind of Thermocouples You Have?

As I noted at the beginning of today’s post, noble metal thermocouples are found where temperatures run high – in the range of 1800ᵒ to 4200ᵒ Fahrenheit. Those settings can include production lines, testing laboratories, firing kilns – anywhere high temperatures need to be measured or monitored. One example? Robotic arc welding equipment that must shut down if temperatures start to run too high.

In some cases, you can learn whether you have precious metal thermocouples by reading the documentation that accompanies the equipment. (Don’t have the specs? Don’t forget that you can often learn them by looking at a manufacturer’s product brochures or specifications online.) In some cases, thermocouple specifications are stamped onto small plaques that the manufacturer attached to the equipment. And in some cases, the thermocouple’s classification (Type B, R, or S, for example) will be stamped somewhere on the thermocouple itself, or on gauges or valves that are attached to it.

How Much Are Your Recyclable Platinum and Rhodium Thermocouples Worth?

Precious metals like rhodium and platinum can be recycled by the best platinum refiners very profitably – platinum for more than $1,400 per troy ounce, and rhodium for more than $1,000. If you call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344, we will be happy to discuss the potential value of your used, recyclable thermocouples.

Related Posts:

Why Thermocouple Wire Is a Top Candidate for Profitable Recycling
How to Claim the Cash that’s Hidden in Used Equipment Containing Thermocouple Wire
Snip the Tips to Make Surprising Money from Recyclables
How to Pick the Best Precious Metals Recycling Company

How to Pick the Best Precious Metals Recycling Company

Finding the best gold refining company, the best platinum refining company, or the best refining company for your other precious metal bearing scrap looks like a simple process on first glance. You locate a company that will pick up your metals or accept them via shipment. You send in what you have. You get paid.

Photo of platinum and gold bars, precious metals that Specialty Metals refines and recycles from scrap catalytic converters and sputtering targets and more.

That’s a simple process, right? But it also exposes you to risk. What if the company you found doesn’t tell you the truth about the content of the items that you’d like to recycle? What if it underestimates the value of the precious metals that your recyclable items contain? And what if the company you found takes months and months to pay you, or never pays you at all?

Your Bill of Rights as a Customer

If you’re searching for a company to recycle the precious metals that you have on hand, here’s what you have the right to expect.

  • Honesty. If a company doesn’t have integrity, nothing else matters. But how do you know? The best way is to ask if you can speak with two or three of its customers. Another way is to check with the Better Business Bureau online to see whether any complaints have been filed against the company you are considering. If you find a complaint, ask the company about it and how it was resolved.
  • Prompt payment. When you contact customers who have used the precious metals recycling company you are considering, be sure to ask how long it takes to get paid. A company that takes months to issue payment is not worth considering – and slow payment could indicate that the company is not sound financially or that it could go out of business.
  • Expertise and openness. Recycling precious metals isn’t like recycling cardboard or plastic. In most cases, it is highly complex. You have the right to deal with a company that will explain everything about the recyclable materials you have. When you call the company, you should be connected to an expert – or an expert should email or call you back within the hour. That person should be able to explain: the kinds of precious metals that could be contained in what you have to recycle; their potential dollar value; the process that will be used to extract your gold, palladium, or other precious metals; and any possible issues that could occur during recycling that could affect your payment.
  • Documentation. You should ask for, and receive, written estimates for your upcoming recycling. And once the process has been completed, you should receive full documentation for the recycling and the monies that you received. As your accountant will tell you, you will need that documentation when you file your taxes. There’s another reason too. If you know the potential dollar value of recyclable materials that accrue when doing business – be they platinum-bearing thermocouple wires, lots of 500 used catalytic converters, or old cellphones – you get a better handle on your company finances and cash flow in the future.
  • Verifiable values. You should be paid for your precious metals at prices that you can verify. This is the reason why, at Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners, we post the latest London Fix prices right on our home page. You will be paid those prices – and you can verify them on your own.
  • Environmental responsibility. Although getting fair value and prompt payment for your precious metals is your first concern, you should also get assurances that the company you’re dealing with recycles responsibility. After all, the items you send in to be smelted contain more than just gold, silver, or other precious metals. Most also contain plastics, base metals, and other materials that must be recycled or discarded responsibly. When you speak with a representative of a company you are considering, be sure to ask about its overall commitment to the environment.

Do Business with an Honest, Honorable Company like Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners

Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners is proud to comply completely with all the requirements, practices, and standards that are described on the Bill of Rights above. We’ve been in business for 32 years and we’re here to explain how you can get the maximum return for your recyclable precious metals. To learn more, call us at 800-426-2344 today.

Related Posts

3 Simple Steps: How to Find the Best Gold Refiner
Why It Pays to Find a Refiner for Silver, the Forgotten Precious Metal

Interested in Thermocouples and Thermocouple Wire? Why Not Read Up Online?

No matter what kind of industry you are in – manufacturing, fracking, recycling, construction - thermocouples are part of your business. What are thermocouples? Actually, they are pretty fascinating, because they are based on the very simple principle that when dissimilar metals are put in contact, voltage is generated. The result? Interesting things happen.

We recently found an excellent online library of information about thermocouple wire that we’d like to share with you. It is on the website of the Reotemp Instrument Corporation in San Diego. All the information that Reotemp provides is interesting and potentially valuable to know, so you’ll want to CHECK IT OUT for yourself.

Here’s a quick summary of some basic information that you can learn there about thermocouple wire . . .

Photo showing the kind of gas appliance that uses a thermocouple wire that contains valuable precious metals that can be recycled and refined.
  • A thermocouple is made from two wires that are made from different kinds of metals. They are connected at one end – the “junction.” When that connection is made, voltage is generated; that voltage can be measured by equipment that is located at the other ends of the two wires. And here’s where things get interesting, because when temperatures change at the junction, the amount of voltage that’s generated changes too. When those changes in voltage are measured, the thermocouple can be used as a device that can remotely measure temperature. Example: If you run a thermocouple wire from a ceramics-firing kiln on your production line to a gauge located in the control room next door, you can remotely measure the temperature in the kiln.
  • Thermocouples are used in many kinds of industrial, scientific, manufacturing applications. Reotemp points out that they can be found in power generation, oil and gas production, pharmaceutical, biotech, cement, paper manufacturing, and more. And thermocouples are also used in stoves, furnaces, toasters, coffee makers and other appliances you use at home. 

What metals are used in thermocouple wires? The answer is, it depends on the applications where they are used. In some specialized applications, precious metals like platinum and rhodium can be used; they have the potential to be recycled very profitably.

If you think your business may have valuable thermocouple wire hiding in its scrap, you can find out easily by calling Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344. We're experts at recycling and refining precious metal scrap, and we can examine a sample of your thermocouple wire scrap and let you know just how much profit you might be able to reclaim.

Related Posts

Recycling and Refining: The Profitable Way to Dispose of Used Laboratory Equipment
How to Claim the Cash that’s Hidden in Used Equipment Containing Thermocouple Wire
New Medical Technologies Spur a Boom in Platinum Use – and Platinum Recycling
Why Used Thermocouple Wire Is a Top Candidate for Profitable Recycling

How to Claim the Cash that’s Hidden in Used Equipment Containing Thermocouple Wire

If you have production-line equipment that you’re about to discard, you could be losing money. Your old equipment might look like scrap metal to you and not much more but if you toss it, you could be throwing money away. More production equipment than you realize contains thermocouple wire that can be valuable. If you remove it from your old equipment and have it recycled, refined and processed, you can net more money than you might realize.

What Kind of Equipment Is Most Likely to Contain Thermocouple Wire?

Image of platinum thermocouple wire scrap, a very profitable type of scrap Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners can recycle for your company.
  • Any kind of production-line or testing machine that heats or cools materials during the manufacturing process. Some examples include annealing machines, Pasteurizing equipment, and equipment that either cooks or freezes food.
  • Systems that measure temperatures on your production line. If a temperature gauge is located at some distance from your production line, for example, it is connected to the point of measurement by thermocouple wire.
  • Systems that measure radiation on your production line or premises. That’s right – thermocouple wire can be used in equipment that measures radiation too.
  • Automated welding equipment.  Wherever metals are joined, temperatures must be controlled or measured – and that requires the use of thermocouple wire.
  • Machines that heat or cool materials that are introduced during your production processes. If you run a plant that retreads tires and vulcanizes rubber, for example, your used equipment is almost sure to contain quantities of thermocouple wire.  The same is true if you make yogurt or other dairy products that require cultivation.

If you take your used equipment to a general-purpose scrap metal yard, chances are that you’ll be letting dollars slip through your fingers. The fact is, many kinds of thermocouple wire can be recycled profitably. They include: Type B, R, and S Standard thermocouple wire; platinum alloy thermocouple wire; pure platinum wire; platinum/rhodium thermocouple wire; and, thermocouple wire scrap. Not sure what kind you have? Call Specialty Metals at 800-426-2344 and we’ll help you figure it out.

Your Next Steps for Recycling Your Used Thermocouple Wire

Remember that it is up to you to extract used thermocouple wire before you send it to us for processing. But the time you invest can be well worth it. We will pay you within three weeks after we receive your wire. And you can be certain that you will receive top dollar, because we value metals according to standards that you can verify on your own – the New York and London precious metals market.

Contact us at Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners today. 

Related Posts

Recycling and Refining: The Profitable Way to Dispose of Used Laboratory Equipment
Interested in Thermocouples and Thermocouple Wire? Why Not Read Up Online?
New Medical Technologies Spur a Boom in Platinum Use – and Platinum Recycling
Why Used Thermocouple Wire Is a Top Candidate for Profitable Recycling

Why Used Thermocouple Wire Is a Top Candidate for Profitable Recycling

If you take a look around your place of business, you’re sure to find some items that obviously contain precious metals and which are therefore candidates for profitable recycling. They could be scrap circuit boards that contain visible gold or used catalytic converters that you know contain platinum.

Image of platinum thermocouple wire scrap, a very profitable type of scrap Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners can recycle for your company.

Those items are obvious candidates for precious metal recycling. But with a little digging, you can also find less obvious, easy-to-overlook items that you can profitably recycle too. A case in point is used production equipment that contains thermocouple wires.

If your operations involve heating things, cooling things, or measuring temperatures, it’s pretty certain that you own some quantity of used thermocouple wire which, if extracted and recycled, can put dollars in your pocket. Why is thermocouple wire such a good candidate for profitable recycling? Here are some reasons you should know about:

  • In many applications, thermocouple wire has a short service life. Much of it is used in high-temperature settings on production lines and elsewhere. The result? It wears out quickly and needs to be replaced frequently. Rather than tossing it, you can implement a recycling program to recapture a profitable percentage of its value. Note too that repurposing worn-out thermocouple wire is generally not possible; because its post-use properties are not known, the only option is to recycle it so that its rare metals can be extracted and used again in new devices.
     
  • You probably own several types of recyclable thermocouple wire. Extension grade thermocouple wire, found in many kinds of manufacturing equipment, is used to carry thermoelectric signals a long way – often between the place where heat is generated and a measuring device. Thermocouple grade wire is usually found where the heat happens, or used entirely within pieces of production equipment; it generally contains higher concentrations of precious metal than extension grade wires do.
     
  • A surprisingly large number of precious metals can be found in thermocouple wire. You could be sitting on a quantity of molybdenum, nickel, palladium, platinum, rhenium, rhodium, tungsten, or even gold. With a simple recycling program, you can turn those valuable metals into cash.

How to Get Started Recycling Thermocouple Wire

If today’s post makes you wonder whether you are holding valuable quantities of thermocouple wire – or wonder whether you have been throwing away dollars by tossing it – there’s a simple solution. Call 800-426-2344, explain what you have on hand, hear what we have to say – and get the process started.

Related Posts

Recycling and Refining: The Profitable Way to Dispose of Used Laboratory Equipment
Interested in Thermocouples and Thermocouple Wire? Why Not Read Up Online?
How to Claim the Cash that’s Hidden in Used Equipment Containing Thermocouple Wire
New Medical Technologies Spur a Boom in Platinum Use – and Platinum Recycling